Attukal Pongala is a famous annual festival celebrated in celebrated at the Attukal Bhagavathy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), the southern Indian state of Kerala. It is one of the largest gatherings of women for a religious event in the world. The word “Attukal” refers to the Attukal Bhagavathy Temple, which is the focal point of this festival.
Attukal Pongala is a ritual celebrated in Attukal Bhagavathy Temple every year. The Pongala Mahotsavam is the most important festival of the Temple. It is 10 days 10-day-long festival that comes to an end with a special sacrificial offering namely Kuruthitharpanam at night. On the ninth day of the festival, a large no of women from all religions, from within India and abroad gather in and around the temple premises to offer the Pongala which is cooked by themselves. Pongala is made with rice boiled with jaggery, coconut gratings, ghee with other ingredients in open small earthen pots. On Pongala day, women are only allowed to enter the temple premises. Attukal Pongala is noted for the largest annual gathering of women in a single place on a single day in the world who come here to dedicate the sweet Pongala to please the goddess. It is also known as the Sabarimala of women.
Pongala Mahotsavam, a 10-day program, will start on March 1, Thursday and end at 10:30 AM on March 11. Preparations for the Pongala are going at a faster pace in the Attukal temple. This year’s Attukal Pongala offering will be on 7 March 2023.
Pongala 2018 ritual steps
Muhurtam to light up the fire is by 10.30hrs – afterward, women have to start the ritual of cooking Pongala
Pongala offering to the goddess by 14.30 hrs -The chief priest (Melsanthi ) will bless the Pongala with holy water (theertam) and flowers, and then it will become Prasadam. After that women can take back the sacred Pongala pots to their homes. Attukal Pongala day is a public holiday for Trivandrum.
Last year more than 30 lakh women participated in the Attukal Pongala festival. Attukal Bhagavathy Temple Trust and the Government will make all arrangements and securities for the success of Attukkal Pongala.
- Temple is 2 km away from Central Railway Station, Trivandrum
- 11 km away from Trivandrum International Airport
Attukal Bhagavathy Temple
Attukal Bhagavathy Temple Trust, P.B.No. 5805. Manacaud P.O., Thiruvananthapuram – 695 009, Kerala, South India